"It's always better for a child to remain in his/her birth-country...with his/her birth-family. Adoption--and especially international adoption--is a last resort. We're not even plan B, we're like Plan F."
These are the kinds of things we say in adoption.
Don't get me wrong....we believe them... It's just that it's so easy to say? Because it's such a far-fetched idea. Because many times, it takes so long for a child to become "adoptable" that by the time you are involved they have spent most of their little lives in an orphanage. Because there are so many children that have aged out of the system that we can hardly imagine our child wouldn't need a family.
Because it's hypothetical.
Maybe we say it to make ourselves feel better?
Maybe we say it to--in some strange way--honor the family and country?
But whatever the reasons. It's a lot harder to say when it's no longer hypothetical. It's a lot harder to say when it becomes real.
Like Real real.
Like the kind of real that knocks the wind out of you while you sit at your desk, trying desperately to maintain some image of normalcy.
Like the kind of real that takes a joyful, excited time and replaces it with the darkness of canceled plane tickets, unpacked bags, and the sorrow of realizing we aren't going to be her family.
Like the kind of real that makes you take all your hypothetical words?
And eat them.
It's the kind of real that tells me, If this thing really hasn't been "about me" so far, then it sure can't start being about me now.
And, for the record?
Real...is way harder than hypothetical.
Real? Makes me realize that if it's ME feeling loss and grief and sadness or HER feeling loss and grief and sadness...I would choose to take it every time.
Real? Makes me put on my big-girl pants when I would rather be angry and bitter and ask myself if this is what's best for her? If she will be happy and loved? If she is *gulp* better off?
Because I really love her.
And, Real? Is what I have in front of me. It's not a glossed-over, hypothetical picture of what we want adoption to always be. It's a perfectly clear picture of what it means to walk this path. Of what it means to put yourself out there. Of what it means to learn you are Plan B.
So..now that things have gotten real real around here?
All I can do is pray that every day she wakes up with the sun on her face and love in her heart. That she lives each day full of ambition and play and joy. That she is hugged and kissed every. single. day. That lullabies get sung to her at bedtime and someone comes running each time she cries.
That she never feels the loss of her country and her culture. That she feels completely connected to her heritage.That there is someone there to tell her what kind of baby she was, whether she was happy or fussy, what her first words were, what she liked and disliked...All things that she would have lost with us.
And that, somehow, she feels our prayers and knows that she is Always. Always. Loved.